Fun Friday Links: Holiday Hiring, We’ve Been Taking Breaks All Wrong, and Emotional Leadership
Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
3 Hiring Lessons From Your Holiday Shopping List
A neat twist on traditional holiday shopping tactics, this perspective-flipping piece shows you how to apply the same smarts that you use to brave Black Friday-and-beyond to the job-hunting — or hiring — process.
“With the holiday season in full swing, your shopping list has probably grown impressive in size. While the economy might be tough and the job market even harder to navigate, people across the country are still flocking to stores to make holiday gift purchases. Last year alone, holiday spending grew 14% to inject $42 billion into the economy. So what does this have to do with hiring?
Just like finding the perfect holiday gift, finding the right employee for your company can be tough. Walk into any mall and there are thousands of potential gifts for your friends and family, but finding the right one takes work.”
True that. From ‘making a list and checking it twice’ to getting personal, these tips will help you choose the perfect personnel.
Taking Breaks the Right Way
And here I thought an intermittent peek at Buzzfeed every couple of hours or so was a perfectly good way to give myself a minute. Apparently, though, it’s not only nice to take a break from working hard, it’s scientifically proven to boost focus and productivity. The only problem? You’re doing it wrong.
“A 2008 University of Illinois study found that the brain’s attentional resources drop after a long period of focusing on a single task, decreasing our focus and hindering performance. But even brief diversions, the study found, could significantly increase one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods of time.
“Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable,” Energy Project CEO Tony Schwartz wrote in the New York Times. “Taking more time off is counterintuitive for most of us. The idea is also at odds with the prevailing work ethic in most companies, where downtime is typically viewed as time wasted.” [Though] breaks might seem counterproductive, they’re more important than ever in the 24/7 workplace of constant connectivity and non-stop streams of email. We’re constantly checking and updating our email, Twitter and Facebook in addition to the other work we’re doing, and frequently we forgo real breaks in favor of cyber-loafing or Facebook-updating.
There’s no way to perform at your highest level without allowing time for rest. Over long periods of working, the brain uses up oxygen and glucose, its primary forms of energy.
The brain uses enormous amounts of energy for an organ of its size, according to Scientific American, ‘regardless of whether we are tackling integral calculus or clicking through the week’s top 10 LOLcats.'”
Leadership Is About Emotion
It’s not often that we hear the term ‘leadership’ coincide with things we consider to be rooted in emotion. Leaders are strong; they’re smart. They’re creative and innovative, masters of their fields, and skilled at communication and strategy. But this piece by Forbes’ Meghan M. Biro delves deep into the reality of our emotional connection with the qualities that we consider valuable in the people we follow.
“This ability to reach people in a way that transcends the intellectual and rational is the mark of a great leader. They all have it. They inspire us. It’s a simple as that. And when we’re inspired we tap into our best selves and deliver amazing work.
So, can this ability to touch and inspire people be learned? No and yes. The truth is that not everyone can lead, and there is no substitute for natural talent…But for those who fall somewhat short of being a natural born star (which is pretty much MANY of us), leadership skills can be acquired, honed and perfected.”
Biro’s key leadership qualities? Emotional intelligence, willingness to learn, kindness, respect, and honesty.